Interview: Moneka Khurana, Country Head, Mobile Marketing Association (MMA)

We had got a chance to have an email interaction with Moneka Khurana, Country head of MMA (Mobile Marketing Association) India to know more about this non-profit organization. Here we have comprised some of her views and opinions:

1) Please tell us something about MMA.

Moneka Khurana, Country Head, Mobile Marketing Association (MMA)
Moneka Khurana, Country Head, Mobile Marketing Association (MMA)

The MMA is the world’s leading global non-profit trade mobile marketing association comprised of more than 800-member companies, from nearly fifty countries around the world. Our members hail from every faction of the mobile marketing ecosystem including brand marketers, agencies, mobile technology platforms, media companies, operators and others. The MMA’s mission is to accelerate the transformation and innovation of marketing through mobile, driving business growth with closer and stronger consumer engagement. Anchoring the MMA’s mission are four core pillars; to cultivate inspiration by driving the innovation for the Chief Marketing Officer; to build the mobile marketing capabilities for the marketing organizations through fostering know-how and confidence; to champion the effectiveness and impact of mobile through research providing tangible ROI measurement; and advocacy. Additionally, MMA industry-wide committees work collaboratively to develop and advocate global best practices and lead standards development.

Mobile Marketing is broadly defined as including advertising, apps, messaging, mCommerce and CRM on all mobile devices including smartphones and tablets. Members include, American Express, AdChina, Colgate – Palmolive, Dunkin’ Brands, Facebook, Google, Group M, Hewlett Packard, Hilton Worldwide, Kellogg Co., L’Oréal, MasterCard, McDonalds, Microsoft, Mondelez International, Inc., Pandora Media, Procter & Gamble, R/GA, The Coca-Cola Company, The Weather Company, Unilever, Visa, Vodafone, Walmart, xAd, Zenith Optimedia and many more.

2) Being such a prominent brand it is not easy to maintain a leadership position in the market, how is MMA doing that?

MMA has been in India since 2015. To engage industry practitioners and thought leaders in the field, we organize an annual MMA Forum, where key players in the mobile marketing space across sectors get to network and exchange ideas on the latest in mobile marketing. Beyond the Forum, we also have the annual SMARTIES Awards, recognizing the best campaigns in the region.

Events like the Ideathon further seal our presence in India, as we continue to engage like-minded individuals and organizations.

3) How will Ideathon help to increase the experience of mobile users and provide an enhanced platform for the digital marketing industry? What is the role that MMA will play?

The objective of this Ideathon is to help marketers understand the mobile medium as an Advertising and Marketing apparatus. While many of them have already started to use the medium these events are a chance for them to learn about previous experiences and to come up with new solutions. The Ideathon brings together the best and brightest young minds who are in tune with the latest mobile technologies. Through the event, they meet reputable industry practitioners who brought with them real-life problems, where they attempted to solve using their skills and knowledge of today’s technology.

Being a mobile-centric event, the Ideathon saw a strong focus on mobile solutions, prompting a shift in mindset for brands that may not traditionally think of mobile as a primary solution. This 30-hour nonstop hackathon also challenged both brands and participants to think on their feet, resulting in new creative ideas.

4) What are the challenges faced by brands in India since a huge percentage of the population does not use smartphones? How do you maintain the engagement on different levels especially in a mobile environment?

The number of mobile phone users in India has grown from 775.5 million in 2017 to 813.2 million in 2018. That said, mobile is a fairly recent medium, so it requires engagement and participation from all parties to build it up. The spread of 3G, 4G and the introduction of 5G networks, alongside competition from mobile device providers, have also resulted in the quick adoption of mobile.

Of course, as India is still very much a developing market, it is important for brands to ensure that their mobile marketing initiatives do not require a high bandwidth for now, so that load time is quicker and can reach consumers in the more rural areas.

In addition, we’ve seen more marketers take an interest in leveraging mobile when it comes to developing their marketing strategies. This is a good sign, as we continue to move towards a mobile-first economy.

5) What do you think are the most important or revolutionary innovations influenced by the MMA to enhance user and marketer’s experiences?

At MMA we help marketers by enlightening, empowering and enabling them through collaborations with the right people. To propel the mobile marketing industry in the region, we also have a Marketing Attribution Think Tank (MATT), spearheaded by industry-leading companies and professionals. The MATT aims to define the future of marketing measurement and support it with acceleration tools. Its first initiative was around Multi-Touch Attribution, the science of using advanced analytics to develop marketing touchpoints across online and offline channels leading to the desired customer outcome. Moving ahead, the MATT will continue to bolster the growth of mobile in India and the region.